Takeaways: Utes go ice cold and lose to USC
After falling behind early to the USC Trojans, the Runnin’ Utes fought back to close the gap 32-28 at the end of the first half. They would then go ice cold in the second half, getting trounced by the Trojans, 64-46.
Here are the takeaways from the game:
The Mobleys were a non-factor
The highly-touted Mobley brothers, Evan and Isaiah went 1-3 from the field and Evan, a potential 2021 NBA lottery pick, didn't attempt an official shot, other than six free-throws. Both played just over 30 minutes. They were also held in check on the boards with five each, but they did combine for five blocked shots. If there’s anything positive that Utah can take out of this game, it’s that they minimized the contributions of two talented big men. As good teams do though, the Trojans still found ways to make up for their struggles.
Utah’s lack of offense is concerning
In the 18-point loss on Saturday, Utah’s shooting woes were at their worst. The Utes finished just below 28% from the field and 13% from the three-point line, only making three of their 22 attempts. In the dreadful second half, the Utes shot 4-40. The shot selection was also bad. Many times the Utes were on a short clock and ended up having to hurry to get shots up. In the loss against UCLA, Utah shot 50% from the field and 41% from deep which could have been enough to beat the Trojans.
It will be close to impossible for this Utah team to be competitive in any game in the Pac-12 with these numbers and now they haven’t won a Pac-12 road game since February 23, 2018.
The shooting was poor which led to inescapable runs from USC. The Trojans started the game on a 20-4 run and then later finished on a 18-5 run to end the game. Guys like Timmy Allen, Rylan Jones, and Alfonso Plummer who have all proven that they can score at this level need to be held accountable for the lack of offense. The excuse and justification in the postgame was centered on USC’s length, which is tough to spin when Utah did actually have small spurts of success.
With so much potential on this young team, Ute Nation can hope that this shooting performance proves to be an outlier and not the norm.
Poor rebounding continues to plague season
Timmy Allen led the way with eight rebounds in the game, but the Utes lost the battle on the glass, again. While winning the rebound game probably wouldn't have helped the cold shooting night, it is disappointing to see an area that is a major focus not improve. The rest of the bigs combined for only eight rebounds in addition to Allen's total, with centers Branden Carlson and Lahat Thioune adding only three between the two of them.
As mentioned above, Larry Krystkowiak made sure to highlight the USC length in the postgame as a factor to the Utes loss and rough second half shooting. With all of their misses, Utah had plenty of opportunities for rebounds and second chance points.
USC’s Drew Peterson led both teams with 11 bounds. What should make it even more frustrating is that the Utes were dominated on the glass even though Evan and Isaiah Mobley only had five a piece.
You can’t spin this loss, Larry. Please don’t.
“I thought our defense was really good. This is a — I don’t know that I’ve ever been involved with a game that the score doesn’t indicate what type of game it was,” claimed Krystkowiak in his postgame press conference.
Look, the fans don’t want you to spin an obviously awful performance, especially when the team looked so bad in the second half. Doing this you’ll lose the fan base and frustrate them even more than they already are.
The fact is that so many of the same problems seem to exist on a near year-to-year basis. This statement made here by us isn’t spin, it’s reality.
Utah returns home for four games against Oregon State, Oregon, Stanford, and Cal. The Utes will look to build some momentum in the comfort of their home gym, as the success continues to elude them on the road.